A Rockford neighborhood begins to return to normal after it was locked-down for nine hours. That's because Rockford Police and SWAT were in a standoff with a man until 1:30 p.m. It all started in the early morning hours when a child called 9-1-1 to say his mother's boyfriend was hurting her. The woman and her kids then went to a nearby relative to wait for help.
"The kids got into it too. They aren't going to let their momma get hurt, you know what I'm saying. They ran down here and they called the police from here," says Wilson Foreman, girlfriend's uncle.
The woman warned the police her boyfriend, Rashad Pelzer, 32, was in the home at 2404 Yonge Street armed with a gun. Police say they spotted Pelzer when they arrived around 4:30 this morning but he ran back into the home.
"He went in the house, turned all the lights. Officers had a brief phone conversation with him and asked him to surrender. Told him he was under arrest, he had a warrant. He said he wasn't going to do that," says Lt. Pat Hoey, Rockford Police Department.
According to police, Pelzer then cut off all communication for six hours. Since officers did not know where he was in the house they decided to wait him out trying repeatedly to get back in contact, at one point turning on a squad car's sirens and talking through a loud speaker to get his attention. The girlfriend's uncle sat just a few blocks away watching the situation play out. He says he worried about Pelzer's safety because of how he reacts.
"Just a hothead, something like that," says Foreman.
Pelzer has a long criminal history that includes charges of armed violence, unlawful use of weapon and assaulting a police officer. It took three hours of talks with a crisis negotiator and Pelzer's relatives asking him to surrender before he decided to come out of his own. A long day for Rockford Police and SWAT who were ready to go in but happy force was not necessary.
"If we don't have to use it, it's great. And this is a great example of taking our time, having trained crisis negotiators to talk to him, convince him that surrendering is the best way to do it and he can go to court and fight his legal battles there," says Lt. Hoey.
Pelzer is under arrest on a list of charges including three counts of domestic battery, interference with the reporting of domestic violence, aggravated assault, and armed habitual criminal.
The standoff is over and Rashad Pelzer has surrendered to police after refusing to leave his home for nine hours. We will have a full report on the situation on 13 News at 5 & 6.
Rockford police responded to a home in the 2400 block of Yonge Street just before 4:30 a.m. in regard to a domestic battery report called in by a child.
Upon arrival, a woman told police her boyfriend, 32-year-old Rashad Pelzer, battered her inside the home and was armed with a handgun. She and her child left the residence.
Police saw Pelzer, who is wanted on a probation violation warrant, go back into the home. After several hours of no contact with Pelzer, officers have communicated with him through cell phone, but he still refuses to come out. Police say Pelzer's step-mother and other relatives have spoken to him over the phone to try to convince him to exit the home peacefully.
Police say Pelzer is also on parole and has previous weapons offenses, including aggravated discharge of a firearm, armed violence, and aggravated assault to a police officer. Because of his history, police have called in the SWAT team. Officers say they have no reason to enter the home right now, and plan to wait in an attempt to end the situation peacefully.
The surrounding area has been blocked off and police are warning residents to avoid the area until the issue is resolved.
13 News Reporter Rebecca Klopf is on the scene and we will bring you updates as we receive them.
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